Earlier this year, AFLW player Tayla Harris, was photographed kicking for goal – a thing people do when they play football. The photograph received so much online abuse it became the centre of media attention for what felt like weeks.
It’s a powerful shot that shows off Harris’ athleticism but trolls thought it was “unladylike” and “disgusting” for reasons we’re yet to understand. Some of the comments were so vile Harris said they made her feel sexually abused.
And now the trolls are out to play again because apparently, jeopardising an athlete’s mental health once wasn’t enough. Today at Melbourne’s Federation Square, a statue of Harris and her famous kick was unveiled, commissioned by NAB. Nasty comments are resurfacing: “It’s satanic,” and “Didn’t a large bank pay for this? Hard not to be cynical.”
This Twitter user has nobly informed us of the rules surrounding statues:
I’m inspired by this Twitter user who appears to have plucked this standard right out of nowhere. So much so, that I’ve also decided to make up my own rule based on nothing: anyone who takes issue with Harris’ statue should also take issue with these gems…
Melania Trump’s Statue
The proportions here are very questionable. However, the Slovenian artist did craft the statue using a chainsaw so how picky can we get, really? Melania’s nose looks like a large button and the larger-than-life figure also has a distinctly grassroots and village-like feel- sort of the opposite of Melania’s entire vibe. Awkward statue rating: 8/10.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Statue
Will we ever forget the horror of this statue? The soft-serve like hair, the exaggerated crow’s feet and the enormous Adam’s apple… I could go on. There’s perhaps nothing very positive to say about this statue of the famous soccer star. Also, its neck is so thick it looks more like a quadracep. Awkward statue rating: 9/10.
This 2013 statue of Colin Firth was erected in London’s Hyde Park and was absolutely massive. Considering how creepy it is, it’s unsurprising that it was taken down. Just look at those giant hands. I’ve never seen a head quite that round before. It sort of looks like a giant, taxidermy, Firth. Awkward statue rating: 10/10.
Professional tennis player, Andy Murray, was gifted this statue after winning the Shanghai Rolex Masters in 2011. I’ll be the first to say it: it’s not so much the statue that’s strange, it’s the player’s awkward pose with it that cranks up the strangeness. The statue itself looks like something from the set of lord of the rings. Why is he wearing armour? The square head and weird racket placement doesn’t do it any favours either. Awkward statue rating: 6/10.
I won’t beat around the bush: this David Bowie statue from Aylesbury, England looks utterly alien-like. The leathery-skin effect the artist went for is really discerning. Bowie also looks undernourished and, for a reason we’re unsure of, he’s floating. To add insult to injury they’ve given him gold teeth, red hair and have dressed him in some sort of pirate get-up. Awkward statue rating: 7/10.
The takeaway here is that yes, to freeze someone in time is quite bizarre and often, it goes horribly sideways. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a bit of shade at artistic interpretation. But throwing shade an innocent athlete? That’s a different can of worms that should have never been opened.